SA Estonian Business School
A. Lauteri 3, 10114
Vastuvõtuinfo: +372 665 1325 Rektoraat: +372 665 1300
Estonian Business School in Helsinki
Technopolis Ruoholahti, Hiilikatu 3, 00180
+358 40 844 2840

Doctoral Studies

EBS doctoral programme in Management aims to broaden our understanding of the world by giving deep knowledge of organisational theories and society while developing critical and analytical thinking and research skills. Upon the successful competition of the programme, one has developed the ability to make continuous and logical arguments and synthesise new ideas. PhD degree in Management offers challenges and career opportunities in the academia as well as raises one’s value on the labour market. 

Programme Organisation

EBS PhD programme that focuses on the research of business, public and civil society organisations is the only doctoral programme in Management in Estonia and offers a comprehensive perspective on management and organisation studies. The programme is taught in English and has an international student body. On-going development activities and quality assurance of the programme is managed by the EBS Research and Development Council. 


The total volume of the programme is 240 ECTS, of which the studies give 60 ECTS and research activity 180 ECTS. Studies consist of compulsory and elective courses, doctoral/research seminars and teaching internship. The programme curriculum serves as a guideline for doctoral students, but each student has the right and obligation to put together an individual study plan. Research of the doctoral student is carried out according to individual study plan under the guidance of a supervisor. The progress of doctoral student is evaluated yearly by the evaluation committee formed by the EBS R&D Council.


All doctoral students have an opportunity to go on exchange with the goal to pass part of their studies or conduct research in a foreign university. To exploit this opportunity is highly encouraged.


The doctoral thesis presented to apply for the doctor’s degree may be in the form of an independent thesis, a series of publications provided with the summarising review article, or a published monograph.


Compulsory courses Compulsory courses Theories - Social Systems and Organisational Theories - Contemporary Paradigms of Social Science Institutional Economics - Systems Science
Elective courses Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis ½ Structural Equation Modelling ½  Research in Strategy and Innovation ½ Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital ½  Theories of Management of Organisational Changes ½  Ethics and Responsibility in Management ½ Cultural Psychology ½ Cost-Benefit Analysis ½  Logic
Teaching internship passing the teaching internship under the supervision of a professor is compulsory for all doctoral students and it takes place at EBS. Aim of this internship is to give the doctoral students necessary skills and experience of teaching at university level. The volume and period of internship is set in the individual study plan.
Exchange studies Every doctoral student at EBS has the opportunity to visit a foreign university or research institution with a goal to take courses and carry out research. Hosting institution is chosen by the doctoral student himself or with the guidance of the supervisor, and then coordinated with the home university. The goal of the exchange is to increase the circulation of knowledge and establish academic contacts. Length of the exchange can vary from one to five months.
Doctoral thesis

There are three different options for building up your doctoral thesis: 

  • Series of publications (minimum 3) with a conclusive article that is published by EBS as a dissertation.  
  • Monograph published by EBS as a dissertation. Monograph must be peer-reviewed by at least two internationally recognised and independent scholars. 
  • High-level peer-reviewed monograph published by well-known international publisher

Routes to a PhD 


There are two different “routes” to obtaining a PhD in EBS. You can either apply for a research fellow position or be admitted as an individual doctoral student. EBS also upon possibility accepts visiting PhD students.

Research fellow

To become a research fellow, you must apply for a vacant PhD position advertised on this webpage in the Call for PhDs section. Research fellow works in a research group with a specific research topic. These positions are financed either by EBS or external funding (or in a combination of both). The research fellow is thus employed by EBS but is also a student at EBS being enrolled in the PhD programme. As an employee, you are provided with a workplace, and as a student, you are offered teaching and supervision. This scholarship and position include an obligation to contribute to teaching at EBS. Duration of the employment is four years according to the nominal PhD study period.

Individual PhD student

As there is a limited number of scholarships and research fellow positions EBS also offers the possibility of becoming a PhD student as an individual or independent student. In this position, the student is affiliated with EBS as a student only and must pay tuition fee. Information about tuition fee can be found from tuition and scholarships section. The tuition fee can be funded personally or by an employer or another external funding provider. Independent students have no additional teaching obligation, but they must pass teaching internship. The requirements for enrolment as an individual student are the same as for research fellows, but as an independent student, you do not have to apply for vacant PhD position. You can, therefore, choose any research topic within the EBS research field.


Visiting PhD student

PhD students from other institutions, who wish to spend a period of study at EBS, should contact the department they wish to visit. Individual agreements may be made on supervision, participation in courses and a workplace between the student and the department. Information about visiting PhD student scholarships can be found from tuition and scholarships section.


Prerequisite for applying to the doctoral programme in Management is a master’s degree in social sciences or business administration (or an equivalent qualification). Documents can be submitted all year round, but new doctoral students are admitted once a year – in August.

Following documents must be submitted to apply:

  1. *Motivation letter for the research fellow position should include a short research proposal (name of the project outlined in the call, outlined research problem, previous knowledge in the field, skills and expertise concerning research topic, research methods and data student is intended to work with).


The decision of admission is made by the EBS R&D Council based on the research focus of EBS, the motivation of the doctoral student and argumentation presented in the proposal.


Application deadline for non-EU applicants is April 10, 2019.
Application deadline for EU students is July 31, 2019 (inc. Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and countries who do not need a visa to enter Estonia). 


At the final stage of admission, you have to make a 5-minute presentation of your research proposal and answer the questions of the admission committee. The presentation can be done via Skype (for the foreign candidates) or in EBS. Next presentations take place in August, 2019.
Please contact Maarja Laos  for any questions you may have.


Call for PhD Positions (for study year 2018/2019)

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Call for PhD positions for 2019/2020 admission will be available soon.

Tuition & Scholarships

Doctoral students who are not applying for a research fellow position but wish to enroll as individual/independent PhD students have to pay tuition fee. The tuition fee for students is credit point-based: the fee for one credit point is 110 € (core and special subjects), the fee for the supervising, co-supervising and consulting of the Doctoral thesis is 1000 € per semester and fee to cover the expenses of the defence of the Doctoral thesis is 1800 €.

All doctoral students independent from their status can equally apply for several additional one-time scholarships aimed to enhance research activity. More information on financing your studies and research scholarships can be found below and asked the study consultant. 

Translation of the resolution of the Board of SA Estonian Business School of the 2018/2019 academic year tuition fees.

Financing of research fellows

Research fellows are exempt from tuition and employed by EBS. 

EBS internal scholarships

Doctoral students who have shown notable results in research or development activities can apply for EBS scholarships that either partially or fully cover their tuition. Scholarship decisions are made by the EBS R&D Council based on the application by doctoral students, supervisor’s recommendation and the results of last scheduled evaluation by the end of September. 

ERF Scholarships 

ERF Dora Plus programme



Dora Plus programme offers several research-oriented scholarships with the aim to enhance the circulation and creation of knowledge. Dora Plus programme is financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme offers following scholarships for master and doctoral students, and young researchers.


Upcoming Doctoral Courses 

Fall semester 2018/2019 courses:

Quantitative Research Methods 3 ECTS

Faculty: Prof Kaire Põder
Monday, October 8 at 13:00-15:30 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Tuesday, October 9 at 9:00-13:00 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00-12:00 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Monday, November 19 at 9:00-12:15
Tuesday, November 20 at 9:00-12:15
The course covers the following topics: (a) data visualization and descriptive data analysis; (b) linear regression, (b) the problem of causality, (c) binary regression models, (d) non-linear regression techniques, and (f) panel data. Course is introducing applied research methods, problems and techniques that have been discussed and introduces in last decades in all social sciences in modelling micro data (individual based observations). We use free software R studio . There is no any prerequisites for participating in the course, however knowledge of basic statistics and/or research methodology can help.


Social Systems and Organisational Theories 6 ECTS
Faculty: Associate Professor Kätlin Pulk
Monday, October 8 at 13:00-15:30 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Tuesday, October 9 at 9:00-13:00 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00-12:00 (Roosta Bootcamp)
Thursday, October 11 at 13:00-15:30
Tuesday, November 20 at 13:00-16:15
Wednesday, November  21 at 9:00-16:15
Thursday, November 22 at 9:00-16:15
Friday, November 23 at 13:00-16:15
Organization theory (OT) is seen as the academic field specializing in the study of organizational phenomena. The aim of this course is twofold. First, this course aims to introduce thoughts of the leading scholars in OT from the meta-theoretical perspective meaning that the object of analysis and debate is not a set of organizational phenomena, but OT itself. Second and at the same time, the main aim of the course is to introduce a process theory of organization, which challenges the basis of traditional OT.


Management Theories 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr. Shiko Ben-Menahem
Thursday, October 11 at 9:00-14:30
Friday, October 12 at 9:00-18:00
The two main objectives of this course are:
1.    To develop a general understanding of (1) the characteristics of good (management) theory and why it is important, (2) the process of theory development in the field of management research (i.e., how one can construct a theoretical contribution), and (3) the methods to improve students’ theorizing.
2.    Learn about the origin of a number of influential management theories and their conceptual assumptions and issues.


Research Design and Writing 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr Nicole Rosenkranz
Wednesday, November 21 at 9:00-16:15
Thursday, November 22 at 9:00-12:15
Friday, November 23 at 9:00-12:15
In an increasingly competitive research community within a rapidly changing world, it is essential that we formulate research agendas that are of lasting importance, with clean research designs that lead to generalizable knowledge, and with high likelihood of yielding results that will have impact in the world. Thus, we are offering this professional skills course that targets the research and writing methodology that are needed in order to excel in the research community, both during your PhD thesis and in your professional career.


Developing Teaching Skills 3 ECTS  (prerequisite SOC605 Foundations of Teaching)
Faculty: Marge Täks
Friday, October 12 at 13:00-16:15
Saturday, October 13 at 9:00-12:15
Monday, November 19 at 13:00-16:15
Tuesday, November 20 at 9:00-12:15
The objective of the course is to support student´s reflection on their teaching and to help to identify one´s professional growth possibilities (teaching/supervising) in co-operation with colleagues.


Students of EBS can register through ÕIS. Doctoral students of other universities should contact Triin Sillaots (